BRISTOL - City officials celebrated the grand opening of Deeās Cleaners & Laundromat new location Friday. Owner Dee Dee Mandino has been in business in Bristol for 35 years.
Deeās opened at 900 Farmington Ave., with hors dāouvres, balloons and rows of high-powered laundry machines in action. Mandino said the new location is 5,000 square feet - nearly twice the size of the old one in Bristol Plaza.
Mandino credits her āgreat staffā for her businessās success.
āThey take great care of our customers,ā she said. āWe appreciate our customers and they appreciate us back.ā
Mandino said laundry machines at Deeās can handle anything from a single load to eight at once. Washing typically takes 30 minutes and drying 30 to 40.
Deeās has a lounge area with couches and a library for customers to use while waiting.
āWe do wash, dry, fold and dry cleaning,ā said Mandino. āWe do it all. Weāre more beautiful and more comfortable than most other laundromats.ā
Marybeth Kelmel, the laundryās general manager, was given a bouquet of flowers by Mandino just before the ribbon cutting in gratitude for her support over the years. She has been with Deeās for 25 years.
āI love the new space and I love watching customers come in and be happy with it,ā said Kelmel. āIt has been wonderful working with Dee Dee over the years.ā
The slogan of Deeās Cleaners & Laundromat, seen on the shirts of several employees during the opening, is āYouāre worth it.ā Mandino said the origin of that phrase comes from ādivine inspiration.ā
āI was praying for guidance about whether or not to go ahead with this expansion and I felt like God said, āBuild it and let people know that they are worth it to you,āā said Mandino.
Cindy Bombard, president and CEO of the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce, said the new space is āamazing.ā
āItās not like your grandfatherās laundromat,ā she said.
Justin Malley, executive director of the Bristol Development Authority, said Deeās is a āgreat example of a business that has grown in Bristol.ā
āWhen businesses grow, they come to that fork in the road where they recognize that there is an opportunity to expand, but it is not an easy decision,ā he said. āIt is a significant investment, but we feel that Deeās has made the right choice. Weāre glad they chose to remain here in Bristol.ā
Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu said she was āshockedā to see how nicely Deeās had turned out after the new building was renovated.
āIt doesnāt matter what kind of day Iām having at City Hall, I always come out for a small business when they are relocating,ā said Zoppo-Sassu. āSmall businesses are the lifeblood of the community. You have made an investment in Bristol and I wish you success. It is important that the city has an economic development policy that supports local businesses.ā
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.